Stack ’em high, sell ’em cheap – Carrot and Ginger Soup.

Carrot and ginger soup (1 of 1)

On a recent trip to the Milk Market in Limerick with Stefan, I was highly impressed with the locally grown winter vegetables. I was also pretty awe-stricken by the prices. And, not in the usual way I am stunned by Irish prices. The carrots, parsnips and turnips were all fresh out of the ground and really great value. This is a rarity in our green and pleasant land. Such a rarity, that my enthusiasm got the better of me and I completely over-bought on the carrots.

On arriving back in Dublin a day or two later, the Wife (helpfully) suggested that I needed to find some use for half a mountain of muddy carrots. “No problem dear” I replied, before quickly exiting the kitchen. Another couple of days drifted by before another (very supportive) enquiry as to progress. “Don’t worry, My Sweet, I have a plan.” Now feeling the pressure, I took to the internet.

Brilliant. It seems there are three things one can do with a carrot (in culinary terms). Cake, juice or soup. Given that carrot cake is only eaten by left-wing hippies with matted hair and a superior attitude and carrot juice is only drunk by people in the last stages diet driven dementia, I resolved to give some Carrot and Ginger Soup a go.

My ingredients list is pretty short.

  • 2 kilos of fresh carrots
  • 1 litre of chicken (or vegetable) stock
  • 1 6cm piece of ginger (I measured it)
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 1 big onion
  • Salt and pepper to season
A complete ingredients shot, for once.

A complete ingredients shot, for once.

The preparation is very simple, even though it involves a lot of slicing. First, chop the onion.

A totally unnecessary onion slicing shot. I have no meat in this post so...

A totally unnecessary onion slicing shot. I have no meat in this post so…

Next, soften the onion in a very large saucepan. I used a casserole pot.

Soften the onion in a little olive oil. Don't burn it or brown it.

Soften the onion in a little olive oil. Don’t burn it or brown it.

Next chop the celery and add it when the onion is about half-cooked.

Onion half done, celery begun.

Onion half done, celery begun. A useless mnemonic to help you along.

When the onion and celery are ready, add the stock, crush, chop and add the ginger. While the onions and celery are sweating, you will be too, given the number of carrots to peel and chop.

You will spend most of the available time peeling carrots.

You will spend most of the available time peeling carrots.

Add the stock and crushed and chopped ginger. Then add the carrots. That calls for a pouring shot of course.

A good thing I used a big pot!

A good thing I used a big pot!

Cover, bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes or so. Season as best you can. Don’t over-use the salt. There is nothing worse than over-salted soup. Allow to cool and spoon into a food processor or blender.

The last of the pouring shots.

The last of the pouring shots.

Put the lid on and hit the loud button.

"Blend until smooth" as they say in all the best cookery books.

“Blend until smooth” as they say in all the best cookery books.

Reheat and serve with some nice brown bread. You will need a lot of nice brown bread – there is an awful lot of nice soup with a very pleasant ginger glow.

A little bit of extra black pepper added to the flavour and made for a better photo.

A little bit of extra black pepper added to the flavour and made for a better photo.

Despite my lack of enthusiasm for preparing this dish, it was well worthwhile. The carrots set me back €2. The stock I had in the freezer. The onion was 20 cent. The ginger was left over from something else I did. Total cost, including the cooking and blending, about .00001 cent per serving (or thereabouts).

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Latest comments
  • That onion is perfection… wow. You need to get yourself a stick blender. I got one and never, ever looked back.

    • I had one but it succumbed to overuse. They aren’t expensive and I could use the money I saved on the carrots to part fund one. Christmas comes early!

      • Now I’m worrying about mine :D. Treat yourself 😉

  • great stuff, Conor, and congrats on the recent award, delighted for you. Just one thing, Irish root veg, straight out of the ground, still wearing a fine overcoat of same ground and all retailing at very affordable prices is actually NOT a rarity in this land, simply a rarity in the supermarket. There are many, many markets or local independent stores where you can do this kind of shopping – I look forward to reading your list for Dublin in the coming weeks! 😉

    • If I could find a local shop where the three magic ingredients appear; fresh, Irish, inexpensive, I would be delighted. Sadly, here in “de big smoke” we have to suffer either huge prices or not so fresh veg. It saddens me.

  • Carrot and ginger, a lovely warming combination, especially if the weather your side of the puddle has been anything like ours. Good stuff.

    • It has and the soup has been a good way to fight off the effects.
      Best,
      C

  • Does Nigella (or the Venetians) fit the carrot cake consuming caricature? Not that I’m a fan of Nigella per se, but if you do like a bit of cake and a cuppa, then this is very, very good: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/gluten-free_and_11807

    • I might be swayed. But there are so many great cakes out there and so little time….

  • You forgot to mention the totally gratuitous carrot undressing shot…

    • Remiss of me. But, at least, I did include the shot.

  • I am reading your blog and guess what? I am eating carrot and ginger soup. I added a dash of cumin. You have serious taste buds. Cheers

    • Cumin would have been a nice addition. Next time I’m in Limerick…..

  • That’s a good winter warmer 🙂

    • Thanks MD. The daughters have been slurping it up and that is a good measure.

  • This is one of my favorite soups and my favorite time of year to eat it. I make a version of it adding peanut butter and thyme and it’s just soooo good! Great post!

    • That has me cogitating. Peanut butter sounds so strange yet, strangely good.

  • I love hearty vegetable soups like this. Cheap and delicious! Love this recipe… I’d very easily mop it up with some well buttered brown bread!

  • Oh my ~ the goodness of that one is travelling all the way here . . . yummy as she stands but I vaguely remember being talked into using peanut butter once upon a time also . . . and it was not half bad 🙂 ! Bet your soil is far better than ours for all those root things!! . . . mmph!!

  • What a good way to handle too many carrots! I especially like the contrast of the sweet carrot (which I don’t love) and the sharp ginger (which I do)…..lovely!

  • Very nice my friend. I love a good carrot soup!

  • This is the kind of pre-festive food orgy preparation I should be focusing on. The other half (the better half) loves preparing soups – I will point her in the direction of this one

  • That’s a great looking bowl of soup you set before us, Conor.Here, there are no markets and no way to get such fresh produce, at least not until late Spring. In my house, the pepper is not optional. The fact that it also looks good is a stroke of luck.

    • Thanks John,
      The value in that market makes me very envious of those that live that close to it. Very envious.

  • Great looking soup, Conor! I did wonder what you were going to do with all those carrots… 😉

  • Love carrot and ginger soup. Yours looks oh, so yum!

  • Wow, frugal AND flavorful? I knew you could do it. Perfect time of year to save some pennies, and chow down on some warm soup. Great stuff, Conor.

    • Thanks Tommy, I love saving money when I can. The bonus was in a decent couple of gallons of soup.

  • I happen to love carrot & ginger soup. It’s certainly in the category of winter warmer and I remember when I first found the recipe on a (soup mug!) it’s been in the brain archive ever since.

    Stunning snaps as always Connor!

  • This is a great post and recipe. Great flavor profile. I would love this soup but I love carrots and carrot soups. They have such a savory sweetness to them. Baby Lady would like this if she liked cooked carrots – she doesn’t and fishes them out of everything I cook with them. 😮 It’s quite amazing to see her plate with a little pile of diced carrots left behind. She finds every last one.
    I cannot believe I missed this post what with all the pouring, pureeing and even a peeling shot! 😮 Quite impressive Conor. 🙂

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